Blog City at Early Salon Party; Massages with the Huffingtons
The social whirl started early in Denver when a gaggle of A list bloggers, along with a batch of media movers and shakers, descended on Salon's pre-convention party at a smartly renovated townhouse with a beautiful lawn, in a half-gentrified Denver neighborhood. Salon rented the spot months ago on Craig's list in anticipation of just this moment. Word was that somehow eight Saloners were sleeping over at the pad.
The Masher got a ride to the party with Arianna Huffington, and her alter ego sister Agape, after getting a tour of the beautiful Huffington Oasis, where yoga, massage, facials, and refreshments are on tap for harried convention goers on the third floor of 1536 Wynkoop, the impressive headquarters of many of the Denver non -profits, right next to the Big Tent. Arianna's message to the many thousands of Type A's converging on the Mile High City -- UnPlug and Recharge. (more on the Oasis in another AlterNet article.)
The Salon party started slowly, but got a critical mass somewhere after 10 PM. Editor Joan Walsh was the gracious host ably abetted by managing editor Jeanne Carstensen, multi media maven Caitlin Shamberg, and the very jet-lagged political writer Alex Koppelman, fresh from a vacation in Japan, via New York.
One of the tension questions of the convention is how the old media versus new media will cover the Dems, and who will do it better. At the Salon party, the new media was energetic and out in force. Gracing the event where Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake, John Amato of Crooks and Liars, Las Vegas denizen Taylor Marsh. Talk Left's spark plug Jeralyn Merritt, who is also a drug lawyer in Denver, was holding court, talking about how bad Joe Biden was on the Drug War. For sure Barack was not getting her vote. Close by was her pal Anita Thompson, wife of the legendary and now deceased Hunter S. Thompson, who also was dipping her toe into the blogging pool. Glenn Greenwald, one of super stars of blogdom, was at the center of the blogger pack, having made his way to Denver from Brazil.
The crankier old media had some of its players including Michael Tomasky, now of the Brit's Guardian empire, and Time Mag's heavy hitter Joe Klein who poked into the Masher's jacket pocket to fish out Bangkok Haunts, the third of John Burdett's wild and crazy novels about sex, drugs, corruption, trannies, and meditative bliss in Thailand.
Tom Schaller was partying and talking up his book Whistling Dixie and his theory about how the Dems aren't going to make any headway in the South in this election. Meanwhile, the up and coming Keli Goff, who authored Crashing the Gate:How the Hip-Hop Generation Declared Political Independence," made her rounds.
The Masher was very happy to see The Nation's eminence gris Victor Navasky, who is attending his umpteenth Democratic convention, and was what else, blogging at this convention. While we were chatting, a bubbly Clinton delegate from Arizona introduced herself; But alas, she had no working knowledge of either The Nation or AlterNet. Just at that moment, Dan Perkins, the mastermind creator of the Tom Tomorrow strip walked buy. The Masher thought, surely she might know Tom. No such luck.